Explore the community of Southwest Virginia and what it has to offer!
Last summer my friends Jake Caudill and Michael LoGrande wrote and posted a blog highlighting 10 things to do around Emory & Henry. Their blog post is one of the most trafficked blogs on the Honors Program Website. In honor of their blog post and the first day of the semester I will post another blog highlighting 10 other things to do around Emory & Henry.
10. Blackbird Bakery
If you love baked pastries, smoothies, delicious coffee, and a comfy environment to eat, drink, and be merry in then Blackbird is a place you should visit. This vibrant restaurant is located in Bristol, Virginia and open for twenty-four hours (closed on Sunday). When I need a late night kick or want to hang out with friends I often times go to Blackbird.
9. Mt. Rogers
Looking for incredible views that leave you in awe and inspired by the incredible landscape then Mt. Rogers is a hike you might be interested in. Mt. Rogers is also the highest peak in the state of Virginia with a summit elevation of 5,729 feet above mean sea level. Hiking this in the snow is also fun, but extremely cold!
8. Damascus Coffee Shop, outfitters, & chilling
Jake & Michael in their previous blog gave Backbone Rock a rank in their list located just a few miles outside of Damascus. I want to encourage you to explore the town of Damascus. Explore the numerous outfitter shops and grab a cup of coffee from Mojo’s Trailside Cafe & Coffehouse. Damascus also has a fantastic park to hang out in and hammock or take a quick dip in the river.
If you are thirsty and looking for juice to help quench that thirst this is the place to go. White Birch Juice Co. is a business that strives to provide healthy and nutritious juices. They work closely with local growers and grow a portion of what goes into the juice themselves. If you are not a juice fan then stop by for a fantastic smoothie!
Southwest Virginia can get pretty warm and a dip in the lake is one way to cool off. You can even jump into the lake using a rope swing. The lake is created by the dam and located just outside of Abingdon.
5. Marion, VA
Marion, Virginia is located about 20 minutes north of Emory and is definitely worth drive up. Marion has numerous things to offer from Sweetie Pies, an Ice Cream Store, to The Wooden Pickle, a fabulous restaurant, and the Lincoln Theater where you can see a variety of shows and performances.
4. Blue Hills Market (Glade Green Grocer)
Tired of the cafeteria? Craving delicious food made from local produce and harvested food? The Blue Hills Market is located in Glade Spring, Virginia about 5 minutes away from E&H and was previously called the Glade Green Grocer. You can eat an amazing lunch here and for a great price knowing the food was made with local produce.
3. Ice Cream Stop
This is one of my favorite places to go after a long day. The Ice Cream stop is located off exit 19 and serves yummy ice cream! Be sure to stop by and check it out.
In Jonesborough, TN about one hour south of E&H every first and third Saturday of the month a contra dance takes place. I was first introduced to contra dancing in my hometown of Asheville, NC during High School and fell in love with it. I strongly encourage everyone to take a trip down to Jonesborough to give contra dancing a try.
1. Farmer’s Market
Possibly my favorite thing to do in the area is go to the Abingdon Farmers Market on Saturday morning. The Farmers Market is great time where you can get great food and drinks from different restaurants in and around Abingdon like The Balkan Bakery, Zazzy’s Coffee, or Camella’s Tea. You can even get a fresh, stunning bouquet of flowers from a local farmer Deni Peterson; buy local handmade soap and candles, and buy any local produce.
There are an endless amount of adventures, places to visit, and things to do around E&H if you put yourself out there and look for them; however, it is the people on those adventures who will make everything memorable. The friends you make in the community and at E&H will be the ones who make everyday special whether that is spent hanging out in the cafeteria, having light saber battles, picnicking in the Emory Cemetery, or exploring Southwest Virginia. The people that you spend your time with and share adventures with will impact you in the most incredible ways.
These are just a few of the incredible things that Southwest Virginia and the community here have to offer, so get out and explore!
Enjoy these other two blog posts. The first is Jake’s & Michael’s blog from last summer. The second is by another E&H student who writes about 20 things to do for a 20 something year old.
By: Emily Jones '18
*Pictures are provided by Emily Jones & Squad